Saturday, 23 November 2019

Chaka Khan - Chaka (1978)

I'm every woman....

  

Released on 12th October 1978

Running time 43.11

Full of respect from many due to her sterling work with funkers Rufus, Chaka Khan took the soul world by storm with this excellent debut solo album of chunky, muscular soul/funk led off by the now iconic, vibrant disco soul of I’m Every Woman. Other highlights are the brassy funk of Life Is A Dance and Sleep On It.  The backing is superb throughout - check out some of those bass runs and it goes without saying that Chaka’s soaring voice dominates throughout. Her performance in the towering Andrew Lloyd Webber song Love Has Fallen On Me is stunning. There are also some well-known musicians on here - drummer Steve Ferrone, guitarist Phil Upchurch and brass exponents the Brecker Brothers, Michael and Randy. 

TRACK LISTING

1. I’m Every Woman
2. Love Has Fallen On Me
3. Roll Me Through The Rushes
4. Sleep On It
5. Life Is Dance
6. We Got The Love
7. Some Love
8. A Woman In A Man’s World
9. The Message In The Middle Of The Bottom
10. I Was Made To Love Him                                      

Roll Me Through The Rushes is warm, moving and beautifully soulful. It is the album's tenderest moment. We Got The Love is a perfect slice of late seventies late night disco-ish funky soul. Once more, just let that bass boom into your consciousness.

Listen to the intro on Some Love, together with that intoxicating funky wah-wah guitar and what sounds like a squawking saxophone (looking on the credits, it is a flugelhorn) - great stuff. It has to be said that on all the tracks, brass, drums, bass, keyboards and Chaka’s voice are in faultless sync.



A Woman In A Man’s World is catchy and poppy, very enjoyable but obviously carries a serious message with it too. This sister was keen to let us know she was doing it for herself. It may sound trite now, but in 1978 it was pertinent and culturally relevant.

The strangely-titled The Message In The Middle Of The Bottom is a nice, deep piece of atmospheric, rumbling, shuffling funk with Chaka’s voice deeper and more sensual. I Was Made To Love Him is Chaka’s gender-appropriate, funked-up interpretation of Stevie Wonder’s sixties hit.

There are not huge paragraphs one can write about albums like this, as I might with a David Bowie album, for example, other than it is packed full of jazzy, funky soul of the highest quality. It serves as nice evening music, either as background or cranked up.

B